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Series preview: Twins at Tigers

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The Tigers are right on the Twins’ heels in the central division standings. Can the Twins hold on to first place?

Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox
Watch out for Miggy!
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In 2016, the Tigers pretty much owned the Twins, beating them in fifteen of their nineteen meetings. It wasn’t pretty.

But times have changed. It’s 2017 now and the Twins are in first place in the AL Central baby! Woot woot!

Bless You Boys can poo-poo the small sample size and the Twins’ success all they want, but it doesn’t change the fact the Twins are in FIRST PLACE and [double checks MLB standings] still have the best record in the American League ALL OF MLB! I’m going to keep saying that until this all goes down the shitter, like it’s probably bound to do. In fact, things could change as soon as the first game of this series: since the Tigers are 4-2 and Twins 5-1, a Tigers win today would leave the two teams tied for first place.

Will the Tigers win, though? Tuesday’s starter Matt Boyd blew up in his first start of the season against the White Sox, giving up five runs and not even making it out of the third inning. In fact, the Tigers pitching in general has been a bit questionable—especially (surprise) the bullpen. Apparently they are attempting to clean it up a little, though, by optioning right-hander Bruce Rondon and calling up relief prospect Joe Jimenez. Jimenez can throw the baseball really fast, but has a bad slider. “This is an imperfect situation,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said about the move. “But we don’t live in a perfect world.”

So, can the Twins take advantage of the Tigers’ less-than-perfect pitching? Can the Twins pitching continue their miraculous turn-around from last year? Will the Twins still be in first place at the end of the week?!

Stay tuned.

Pitching Match-ups

  • Game 1: Tuesday, 4/11, 12:10 pm CT — Matthew Boyd LHP vs. Hector Santiago RHP
  • Game 2: Wednesday, 4/12, 12:10 pm CT — Michael Fulmer RHP vs. Kyle Gibson RHP
  • Game 3: Thursday, 4/13, 12:10 pm CT — Jordan Zimmerman RHP vs. Phil Hughes RHP

Notes

  • Lookout for Miguel Cabrera, as always. He has two career home runs off Hector Santiago, one off Kyle Gibson, and three off Phil Hughes (of course).
  • The Twins have their own Miggy these days though, and he’s been on fire to start the season. Miguel Sano is batting .350/.458/.850 with two home runs, two doubles, and a triple through the first six games.
  • According to NumberFire, some sports projections website that likes to send me press releases, the Twins only have a 38.2% chance of winning Tuesday, a 38.4% chance of winning Wednesday, and a 39.8% chance of winning Thursday. Um, hey, NumberFire—don’t you know these are the first place Minnesota Twins?